It might be the middle of summer, but the Public Service Commission wants homeowners to think about winter.

The PSC is urging Missourians to think about winter, because winter heating bills could be brutal if steps aren’t taken now. PSC Chairman Jeff Davis says the wholesale price of natural gas is hovering around 13-dollars per million BTU.

"We’ve never had this high a price sustained for this long, so it’s an issue of great concern for me here at the Public Service Commission," says Davis.

This normally is the time natural gas prices drop and utilities buy heavily to offset the upward movement of natural gas prices once winter draws near. Some utilities even buy years in advance and store natural gas. The same factors driving up the price of oil which is driving up the price of gas and diesel are driving up natural gas prices.

Davis urges homeowners to do whatever they can to make their homes as energy efficient as possible, before winter begins. He points out that we have fewer than four months to go before the winter heating season begins. Davis says work needs to begin now, before the price shock hits. 

Summer heat will have an affect, as well. Thirteen percent of the natural gas used in Missouri helps generate electricity. The hotter the summer, the more natural gas will be used and the higher its price will climb.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)